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This is part 2 of “Row, Row, Row YOUR Boat” so be sure to listen to that podcast or read the blog first so you can keep growing forward!!

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As someone who is passionate about leadership development and team building, I am also a strong connector. In this case I am seeing a lot of connections to the work I have done with the above mentioned and marriage.  So, my question to you today is, “is your marriage a team?”

A couple of years ago I did a leadership conference in India and used a resource from Dan Reiland.  He wrote an article titled, “3 best ways that will destroy good teamwork”.  https://danreiland.com/the-3-best-ways-to-destroy-good-teamwork/

He went on to specify 3 conditions that directly impact teams from the inside out.  I also believe they fit well with the marriage relationship.  Whether you are married or not, perhaps you can learn a thing or three about leadership here as well.

As I said in an earlier post about marriage these are really hard times and we need to do whatever it takes to fight to save our marriages.  I realize I am speaking to a particular demographic of marriages and it isn’t lost on me that there are marriages that are filled with abuse of all kinds and destined to division for the safety of the individuals.  I have often wondered if those relationships could have been saved if they got help sooner?

Since divorce lawyers are getting 50% more calls in this season and counselors are getting more requests for help from those who are still in the fight, I thought I would fight “for” you and “with” you by sharing a different perspective and give you a few tools to not only survive, but thrive in your marriages.

But first, are you willing to consider that your marriage is a “team”?  Are you genuinely in partnership with your spouse?  Second, are you willing to consider that maybe things are not going as well as you had hoped during this time, but you are willing to do something about it?

Then you are ready to consider how your team might be self-destructing before your eyes…and THERE IS HOPE!!!

As Dan Reiland suggests these three conditions that can destroy our marriages, I would like you to take each one and see where they show up in your marriage.

  1. Confusion
  2. Suspicion
  3. Division

Let’s break it down:

  1. Confusion: uncertainty about what is happening. Dan suggests it is an external condition to remedy.  Is how you are communicating to your spouse resulting in anger, frustration, arguments, and outbursts?  Perhaps they don’t really know what you are trying to say or what you mean.

Solution:  Clarity through time and communication:  Make time to communicate thoughts and feelings when there is down time or some quiet (you might have to get creative).  Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Don’t play head games, you are your spouse’s first line of protection and provision for safety.  Be honest.  Remember your commitment to go the distance “in sickness and in health” that means the impact of stressors as well.

  1. Suspicion: a feeling or belief that someone is guilty of a dishonest or unpleasant action.  Dan states that this is an internal condition to remedy. Mistrust is at the heart of this.  What is the state of your heart currently?  Do you need professional help to process what is going on in your heart?  Is your suspicion justified because the spouse did something to violate the trust in the past?

Solution:   Ask yourselves who broke the trust? Why don’t you trust your spouse? Do you have any residual issues from your childhood that are being projected on your spouse as a result of the stress you are facing?  How do you view forgiveness or reconciliation?  Although it will be a lot of work (and it is worth it), please know that you can still move your marriage in a different direction.  Seek out a counselor or accountability partner (as a couple) OR an accountability partner for yourself (preferably of the same gender) so you can practice unlearning old patterns and choices.

  1. Division: the action of separating something into parts or the process of being separated (that might lead to permanent division). Do you sleep on the couch after a fight?  Do you eat at a different time than each other (barring different work schedules)?  Do you make decisions independent of each other?  This can feel like a point of no return, but you need to do what you can to eradicate the small divisions that eventually feed the big one of divorce.

Solution:  Get help, from a counselor, a coach (to get you started).  Reflect on the “smaller” divisions and commit to reconnecting them.  As a result of a marriage workshop I taught, a woman told me she came to the workshop with “one foot out the door” in her marriage.  After the workshop, both her and her husband committed to making little changes everyday and within a few months they were experiencing restoration.  Learn to “fall forward” and build unity!!

It is only too late for you if you say and believe it is.

Questions to ponder and maybe discuss with each other:

Are you being a team player?

How is your marriage team doing?

How would you like it to be doing?

What are you willing to do as a result of what you have discovered today?

Questions you can ask each other so you can work towards restoration:

What’s working on your team?

What needs improvement on your team?

What will you do TOGETHER to make the necessary changes?

Teamwork makes the dreamwork… Here’s to Growing Forward Together!!

Blessings, Kinita